Kasey Kahne holds halfway lead in Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington

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A pit road mistake earlier actually paid off for Kasey Kahne, who held the lead at the halfway mark (184 of the scheduled 367 laps) of Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

On Kahne’s previous pit stop, his gas man didn’t fill the tank on Kahne’s Chevrolet fully, forcing Kahne to pit early on Lap 174.

But that proved fortuitous as the rest of the Sprint Cup field was forced to make green flag pit stops just before the halfway mark, allowing Kahne to move to the front of the field.

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick dominated the first half of the race, leading 116 of the first 184 laps. Harvick was second at halfway, followed by seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon in third place.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth, followed by Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson.

Brad Keselowski had a slow pit stop on Lap 183 and dropped from first to seventh, followed by Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano.

Speaking of the younger Busch, he had led each of the last three prior races at Darlington, but failed to win each time.

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Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”